- Location: Indiana, United States
- Gender: Male
Who is Adam? Well, I am. I was born and raised in New Paris, Indiana, a small farming community with just over 1,000 people. I grew up playing whatever sport was in season - participating in (and winning) countless tournaments with friends that I still have to this day.
I entered my freshman year at Wabash College, caring little about anything outside of football. It wasn't until a spring break missions trip to New Orleans that I really began to experience a shift in priorities. While in New Orleans I encountered some of the happiest, loving people that I had ever met. These were people who had lost everything during Hurricane Katrina, yet always sported the biggest smiles and never failed to lend a helping hand. In the material world, they had little, but they possessed something much greater than the latest high tech gadget - they had a community full of stories and laughter. Children played basketball with virtually anything that would bounce, eagerly seeking competition and hard fought victories.
A year later I boarded a plane to Greece with $20 to my name for an internship at a tiny wineshop off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I have many wonderful memories from my summer in Greece, but the thing that I will never forget is the pickup soccer games played by a few elementary school children - their ball being a pine cone. I believe it's important to point out that I did not feel sorry for them, rather I was jealous. I was jealous by the amount of fun they were having; the skill they had to master a game without traditional equipment. These kids were having a ball, well, without a ball.
The next summer I worked in Florida as a cabin counselor at Paul Newman's Camp Boggy Creek, a camp for children with seriously ill diseases. This was the best summer of my life; eight weeks spent playing with some of the most incredible kids on the face of the earth. One of the kids' most favorite activities was playing basketball on a court donated by the Orlando Magic - the looks on the kid's faces expressed sheer joy. On one particular morning I was rebounding for a camper of mine and I froze. In those brief seconds I envisioned a non-profit organization providing sports equipment to children all over the world. I shared the idea with my co-worker and good friend, Evan Ernst, and we immediately began working to bring the idea to life.
I graduated from college this past May and instead of neglecting my passion and settling for employment elsewhere, I developed an idea for a cross-country bike trip to raise money for the non-profit; which has been named Let's Have A: Ball - pun intended. I have no idea what's around the corner, but I can't wait to find out. Join me.